Brussels Diamond League — Christian Coleman Fastest, Short Or Long

Adjusted for wind & altitude, Christian Coleman’s 9.79 is worth 9.77, a time that only 5 others have ever bettered. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Brussels, Belgium, August 31—Christian Coleman ended his 2018 season the way he began it: as the most talked about sprinter on the planet. “I put myself back in the conversation,” the 22-year-old American said after powering to a dazzling 9.79 win in the 42nd edition of the Van Damme Memorial, the fastest run in the world this year and a PR by 0.03 that elevated him into a tie for spot No. 7 all-time. A series of hamstring ailments slowed the 2017 world silver medalist for much of the season, setbacks he finally overcame over the past month. Brussels, he said, “was the first time I was able to come into a race fully confident in my health and fitness. And I think it showed.”

Propelled by a blistering start, Coleman shot to a quick early lead, one he extended to some 3m by the midway point and was never threatened. Ronnie Baker, the world leader coming in, was the slowest out of the blocks—a dismal 0.251 reaction time compared to Coleman’s 0.165—and never managed to mount a challenge. He ended up 2nd in 9.93, edging Yohan Blake by 0.01. Reece Prescod was next at 9.99.

As expected, WR holder Beatrice Chepkoech dominated the women’s steeple, clocking the No. 3 performance ever, 8:55.10. She was on her own after the opening kilo, slowly padding her lead with each passing lap. Norah Tanui fared best, finishing in 8:59.62, her first journey into sub-9 territory. Hyvin Jepkemoi was 3rd in 9:01.60 to round out a Kenyan 1-2-3. Behind her, Emma Coburn (9:06.51) and Courtney Frerichs (9:07.07) produced the Nos. 4 and 6 U.S. performances ever, sandwiching the No. 5 World Junior mark of all-time, 9:06.75 by another Kenyan, Celliphine Chespol. Overall, all-time best-marks-for-place were record in 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th.

Caterine Ibargüen became the first non-sprinter to take home two Diamond Trophies in the same season after pulling off an unlikely double, adding the long jump title to the triple jump crown she had taken in Zürich just over 24 hours earlier. A 22-3¾ (6.80) fourth-round leap bested Briton Shara Proctor’s 21-11¾ (6.70) for a margin considerably more comfortable than her narrow single-centimeter win the night before in her primary event. “It wasn’t easy but I was very well prepared for both events this season, and especially this weekend,” said the Colombian, who had begun her day with a 5am ride to the Zürich airport to hop on an 8am flight to Brussels. She left with a pair of trophies and a cool $100,000.

Doubles—even in years where the two final meets weren’t on consecutive days—have rarely been attempted in Diamond League finals and few have succeeded prior to Ibargüen’s this year. Before the change to a championship style format in 2017, Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce managed to capture two Diamond Trophies in the same season, and last year, Shaunae Miller-Uibo raced to the 200/400 double.

Speaking of travel, a pair of 7-hour flights that transported Salwa Eid Naser from Jakarta to Brussels didn’t seem to leave the 20-year-old any worse for the wear. Running comfortably for the first half of the 400, the Bahraini took command as she approached the final turn, padding her lead through the finish. Naser clocked 49.33, the second-fastest of her young career just a day after anchoring Bahrain to gold in the 4×1 and silver in the 4×4 at the Asian Games in the Indonesian capital. World champion Phyllis Francis was a distant 2nd in 50.51 with USATF champion Shakima Wimbley 3rd in 50.77.

The woman Naser succeeded as DL trophy-winner, Miller-Uibo, chose to only defend her 200 crown, which she did with the confidence and dominance we’ve come to expect from the 24-year-old Bahamian. Running even with world champion Dafne Schippers through the turn, she pulled ahead as the pair approached the straight to finish unchallenged in 22.12 and remain unbeaten in 9 races this year. Schippers held on for 2nd, clocking 22.53 ahead of another Dutchwoman, Jamie Samuel, who clocked 22.64.

The Best Men’s 5000 In Years

There were also fireworks, literally and figuratively, in the longest race of the evening, the men’s 5000, with 18-year-old Selemon Barega treading where few have gone before. Breaking away from Ethiopian compatriots Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yomif Kejelcha with 250m to go, the 18-year-old phenom went on to a 12:43.02 run to take No. 4 on the all-time list, trailing just Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie and Daniel Komen, whose performances were all World Records at the time. For his part, Barega knocked more than 4 seconds from the previous World Junior (U20) mark of 12:47.53 set by Gebrhiwet 6 years ago. “I came for the win and was not at all thinking about a time, but in some way everything came together,” said Barega, whose previous best was 12:55.58.

Sergey Shubenkov successfully defended his title in the 110m hurdles, fighting off Orlando Ortega, the series points leader arriving in Brussels, clocking a solid 12.97. The Spaniard carried a slight lead into the fourth barrier, but Shubenkov drew even over the fifth and built a visible lead by the sixth. From that point he was never threatened. Ortega clocked 13.10.

In the women’s 100H, a late-race charge propelled Brianna McNeal to a 12.61 win, 0.02 ahead of WR holder Keni Harrison. Danielle Williams of Jamaica, the ’15 world champion, was next.

European champion Laura Muir added another major victory to her résumé, holding off Shelby Houlihan’s late-race challenge. The Briton took the lead as she entered the backstraight, then upped the tempo to gap Sifan Hassan who was pushing the pace early on. Behind her, Houlihan moved into 3rd midway through the final turn and into second as she entered the final straight, but couldn’t catch the Briton who went on to clock 3:58.49 to Houlihan’s 3:58.94.

Likewise, Emmanuel Korir was a dominant victor in the men’s 800, heading off Marcin Lewandowski in 1:44.72. The Pole was next in 1:45.21 ahead of Ferguson Rotich who clocked 1:45.28.

The crowd of nearly 40,000 at King Baudouin Stadium also witnessed two significant Diamond League streaks come to an end. The first, in the women’s discus throw, was also the biggest upset of the day after Cuban Yaimé Pérez and Brazil’s Andessa de Morais reached 213-3 (65.00) and 212-1 (64.65) with their final throws to push Sandra Perković into 3rd, denying the Croatian a seventh straight Trophy. “This is crazy,” said Perez, who had finished 2nd to Perković each time the pair met this season. “Even when I took the lead, I still thought I would lose because Sandra still had another throw and she is such a great champion.” That didn’t happen. “Stupid things sometimes happen, but this is sports,” Perković said, adding that she’d been ill with the flu and thought she wouldn’t even be able to compete. “This is my eighth final, and I won seven of them.”

On the men’s side, discus things went a little bit more according to the season’s playbook with Fedrick Dacres, the points leader coming in, prevailing over world champion Andrius Gudžius, No 2 in the standings pre-Brussels. The Jamaican spun to a 225-3 (68.67) toss in the opening round, his best of three measured efforts, to seal the narrow victory over Gudžius, the defending champion, who reached 221-8 (67.56) in round 2.

In the triple jump, world leader Pedro Pablo Pichardo put a halt to Christian Taylor’s 7-year reign with a convincing victory, reaching 57-4¾ (17.49) in the fifth round. Taylor hit 56-9½ (17.31) in the same stanza to secure the runner-up spot ahead of compatriot Donald Scott who reached 56-7¼ (17.25).

The men’s vault also brought a new champion. Young Russian Timur Morgunov, who joined the 6m club earlier in the month when taking European silver, was the class of a deep field, taking the competition with a first attempt clearance at 19-5½ (5.93). Sam Kendricks, the reigning champion, was equal with Morgunov through 19-3½ (5.88), with both clearing after brushing the bars. Morgunov brushed the bar on the way down at the winning height but it stayed on. Kendricks, meanwhile, never came particularly close. At the end of an exceedingly long season, and having started his collegiate classes, teen phenom Mondo Duplantis flew into town and wore the colors of LSU, topping out at 18-7½ (5.68) to finish 7th.

The men’s high jump produced an entertaining battle, with Commonwealth champion Brandon Starc of Australia prevailing on countback in the high jump over Germany’s Mateusz Przybylko, the European champion. Starc took command with a second-attempt success at 7-7¾ (2.33) while the German needed all three.


BRUSSELS DL MEN’S RESULTS

Van Damme Memorial; Brussels, Belgium, August 31 (attendance c40,000)—

100(-0.3): 1. Christian Coleman (US) 9.79 PR (WL, AL) (=7, x W; =3, =12 A) (adjusted for wind/altitude: 9.77—6, =14 W);

2. Ronnie Baker (US) 9.93; 3. Yohan Blake (Jam) 9.94; 4. Reece Prescod (GB) 9.99; 5. Akani Simbine (SA) 10.03; 6. Mike Rodgers (US) 10.16; 7. CJ Ujah (GB) 10.17; 8. Isiah Young (US) 10.26.

Non-DL 400: 1. Jonathan Sacoor (Bel) 45.59; 2. Kevin Borlée (Bel) 45.62; 3. Liemarvin Bonevacia (Hol) 46.08; 4. Steven Solomon (Aus) 46.62; 5. Rabah Yousif (GB) 46.72; 6. Patrick Schneider (Ger) 46.76.

800: 1. Emmanuel Korir (Ken) 1:44.72; 2. Marcin Lewandowski (Pol) 1:45.21 (1:18.42); 3. Ferguson Cheruiyot (Ken) 1:45.28; 4. Jake Wightman (GB) 1:45.96; 5. Clayton Murphy (US) 1:45.97; 6. Wycliffe Kinyamal (Ken) 1:46.02 (51.10); 7. Elliott Crestan (Bel) 1:47.59; 8. Antoine Gakeme (Bur) 1:50.74;… dnf—Jonathan Kitilit (Ken), Cornelius Tuwei (Ken).

5000: 1. Selemon Barega (Eth) 12:43.02 WJR (old WJR 12:47.53 Hagos Gebrhiwet [Eth] ’12) (WL) (4, 6 W) (fastest race since 7/01/05) (59.4, 62.6 [2:02.0], 62.0 [3:04.0], 63.4 [4:07.4], 64.9 [5:12.3], 61.2 [6:13.5], 60.7 [7:14.2], 60.6 [8:14.8], 60.7 [9:15.5], 60.5 [10:16.0], 60.8 [11:16.8], 58.5 [12:15.3], 27.7) (2:32.8, 2:39.5 [5:12.3], 2:32.6 [7:44.9], 2:31.1 [10:16.0], 2:27.0) (27.7, 55.8, 1:56.3, 3:57.6);

2. Hagos Gebrhiwet (Eth) 12:45.82 PR (5, 10 W); 3. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 12:46.79 PR (7, 12 W) (7:44.56, 10:15.76);

4. Muktar Edris (Eth) 12:55.18; 5. Abadi Hadis (Eth) 12:56.27 PR;

6. Paul Chelimo (US) 12:57.55 PR (AL) (4, 7 A);

7. Richard Yator (Ken) 12:59.44 PR; 8. Getaneh Tamire (Eth) 12:59.58 PR; 9. Mohammed Ahmed (Can) 13:03.08; 10. Ben True (US) 13:04.11; 11. Bashir Abdi (Bel) 13:04.91 PR; 12. Stewart McSweyn (Aus) 13:05.23 PR; 13. Cyrus Rutto (Ken) 13:28.25;… rabbits—Tamás Kazi (Hun) (2:31.66), Stanley Mburu Waithaka (Ken) (5:11.57).

110H(-0.1): 1. Sergey Shubenkov (Rus) 12.97; 2. Orlando Ortega (Spa) 13.10; 3. Hansle Parchment (Jam) 13.35; 4. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (Fra) 13.36; 5. Freddie Crittenden (US) 13.39; 6. Devon Allen (US) 13.41; 7. Ronald Levy (Jam) 13.47; 8. Balázs Baji (Hun) 13.63.

(best-ever mark-for-place: 3)

Field Events

HJ: 1. Brandon Starc (Aus) 7-7¾ (2.33) (7-2½ [2], 7-3¾, 7-5 [3], 7-6, 7-7 [2], 7-7¾ [2], 7-8½ [xxx]) (2.20 [2], 2.23, 2.26 [3], 2.29, 2.31 [2], 2.33 [2], 2.35 [xxx]); 2. Mateusz Przybylko (Ger) 7-7¾ (7-½, 7-2½, 7-3¾ [2], 7-5 [2], 7-6, 7-7 [2], 7-7¾ [3], 7-8½ [xxx]) (2.15, 2.20, 2.23 [2], 2.26 [2], 2.29, 2.31 [2], 2.33 [3], 2.35 [xxx]); 3. Gianmarco Tamberi (Ita) 7-7 (2.31); 4. Andrii Protsenko (Ukr) 7-7); 5. Donald Thomas (Bah) 7-6 (2.29); 6. Naoto Tobe (Jpn) 7-5 (2.26); 7. Michael Mason (Can) 7-5; 8. tie, Mathew Sawe (Ken), Bryan McBride (US) & Jeron Robinson (US) 7-3¾ (2.23); 11. Bram Ghuys (Bel) 7-2½ (2.20);… nh—Marco Fassinotti (Ita).

PV: 1. Timur Morgunov (Rus) 19-5½ (5.93) (18-1¾, 18-7½, 18-11½, 19-1½ [2], 19-3½ [3], 19-5½) (5.53, 5.68, 5.78, 5.83 [2], 5.88 [3], 5.93); 2. Sam Kendricks (US) 19-3½ (5.88) (18-1¾, 18-5½ [2], 18-7½, 18-9½, 18-11½, 19-1½ [2], 19-3½ [3], 19-7½ [xxx]) (5.53, 5.63 [2], 5.68, 5.73, 5.78, 5.83 [2], 5.88 [3], 5.98 [xxx]); 3. Shawn Barber (Can) 19-1½ (5.83); 4. Piotr Lisek (Pol) 18-11½ (5.78); 5. Renaud Lavillenie (Fra) 18-9½ (5.73); 6. Paweł Wojciechowski (Pol) 18-7½ (5.68); 7. Mondo Duplantis (Swe) 18-7½; 8. Konstadínos Filippídis (Gre) 18-5½ (5.63); 9. Adam Hague (GB) 18-1¾ (5.53); 10. Thiago Braz (Bra) 18-1¾;… nh—Kurt Marschall (Aus), Arnaud Art (Bel).

TJ: 1. Pedro Pablo Pichardo (Por) 57-4¾ (17.49) (56-9½, f, f, 57-4¾, f) (17.31, f, f, 17.49, f); 2. Christian Taylor (US) 56-9½ (17.31) (f, 56-0, 56-6, 56-9½, 56-2½, f) (f, 17.07, 17.22, 17.31, 17.13, f); 3. Donald Scott (US) 56-7¼ (17.25) (56-½, 56-7¼, 55-5¾, 53-9¾, 55-7, 56-0) (17.08, 17.25, 16.91, 16.40, 16.94, 17.07); 4. Omar Craddock (US) 55-7½ (16.95); 5. Chris Benard (US) 55-2 (16.81); 6. Max Hess (Ger) 54-5½ (16.60); 7. Alexis Copello (Aze) 53-1¾ (16.20); 8. Nelson Évora (Por) 52-½ (15.86).

DT: 1. Fedrick Dacres (Jam) 225-3 (68.67) (225-3, 220-11, f, f, 220-7, f) (68.67, 67.34, f, f, 67.24, f); 2. Andrius Gudžius (Lit) 221-8 (67.56) (221-6, 221-8, 215-11, 216-10, f, 218-11) (67.52, 67.56, 65.82, 66.11, f, 66.72); 3. Daniel Ståhl (Swe) 218-11 (66.74) (215-2, 212-0, f, 216-1, 218-11, 207-10) (65.59, 64.63, f, 65.86, 66.74, 63.35); 4. Mason Finley (US) 216-10 (66.09); 5. Lukas Weißhaidinger (Aut) 215-5 (65.66); 6. Christoph Harting (Ger) 213-8 (65.13); 7. Robert Urbanek (Pol) 210-1 (64.03); 8. Ehsan Hadadi (Irn) 208-3 (63.48).

BRUSSELS DL WOMEN’S RESULTS

200(0.1): 1. Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bah) 22.12; 2. Dafne Schippers (Hol) 22.53; 3. Jamile Samuel (Hol) 22.64; 4. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 22.72; 5. Jenna Prandini (US) 22.96; 6. Gabby Thomas (US) 23.18; 7. Ivet Lalova-Collio (Bul) 23.36; 8. Manon Depuydt (Bel) 23.69; 9. Cynthia Bolingo Mbongo (Bel) 23.82.

400: 1. Salwa Eid Naser (Bhr) 49.33; 2. Phyllis Francis (US) 50.51; 3. Shakima Wimbley (US) 50.77; 4. Jaide Stepter (US) 51.17; 5. Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jam) 51.40; 6. Jessica Beard (US) 51.47; 7. Courtney Okolo (US) 52.18; 8. Camille Laus (Bel) 53.72.

Non-DL 800: 1. Lynsey Sharp (GB) 1:59.93; 2. Hanna Hermansson (Swe) 2:00.96; 3. Noélie Yarigo (Ben) 2:01.35; 4. Renée Eykens (Bel) 2:01.91; 5. Hedda Hynne (Nor) 2:02.29.

1500: 1. Laura Muir (GB) 3:58.49 (3:13.23); 2. Shelby Houlihan (US) 3:58.94; 3. Sifan Hassan (Hol) 3:59.41; 4. Gudaf Tsegay (Eth) 3:59.68; 5. Axumawit Embaye (Eth) 4:02.75; 6. Winny Chebet (Ken) 4:03.37; 7. Sofia Ennaoui (Pol) 4:03.49; 8. Rabab Arrafi (Mor) 4:03.82; 9. Laura Weightman (GB) 4:04.36;

10. Jenny Simpson (US) 4:04.57; 11. Elise Vanderelst (Bel) 4:05.75 PR; 12. Nelly Jepkosgei (Ken) 4:10.13; 13. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 4:11.33;… rabbit—Dariya Barysevich (Blr) (61.35, 65.15 [2:06.50]).

St: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 8:55.10 (x, 3 W) (5:56.30); 2. Norah Tanui (Ken) 8:59.62 PR (5, 8 W);

3. Hyvin Jepkemoi (Ken) 9:01.60;

4. Emma Coburn (US) 9:06.51 (x, 5 A); 5. Celliphine Chespol (Ken) 9:06.75 (x, 5 WJ); 6. Courtney Frerichs (US) 9:07.07 (x, 6 A);

7. Peruth Chemutai (Uga) 9:13.58; 8. Aisha Praught Leer (Jam) 9:14.09 NR; 9. Winfred Yavi (Bhr) 9:14.52; 10. Daisy Jepkemei (Ken) 9:17.08; 11. Roseline Chepngetich (Ken) 9:28.94; 12. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal (Nor) 9:38.34;… rabbit—Caroline Chepkurui (Ken) 2:52.76.

(best-ever mark-for-place: 2–3, 5–6.

100H(0.1): 1. Brianna McNeal (US) 12.61; 2. Kendra Harrison (US) 12.63; 3. Danielle Williams (Jam) 12.64; 4. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 12.69; 5. Sharika Nelvis (US) 12.80; 6. Nadine Visser (Hol) 12.81; 7. Eline Berings (Bel) 12.94;8. Dawn Harper-Nelson (US) 13.08; 9. Christina Manning (US) 13.34.

Non-DL 400H: 1. Anna Ryzhykova (Ukr) 55.38; 2. Hanne Claes (Bel) 55.87; 3. Ayomide Folorunso (Ita) 56.12; 4. Meghan Beesley (GB) 56.15; 5. Viktoriya Tkachuk (Ukr) 56.15; 6. Mariya Mykolenko (Ukr) 57.72; 7. Wenda Nel (SA) 57.93.

Field Events

Non-DL HJ: 1. Nafi Thiam (Bel) 6-2¼ (1.89); 2. Nicola McDermott (Aus) 6-1½ (1.87); 3. Oksana Okuneva (Ukr) 6-1½.

LJ: 1. Caterine Ibargüen (Col) 22-3¾ (6.80) (21-4, f, 22-1½, 22-3¾, 21-7½, f) (6.50, f, 6.74, 6.80, 6.59, f); 2. Shara Proctor (GB) 21-11¾ (6.70); 3. Sha’Keela Saunders (US) 21-11 (6.68); 4. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 21-8¼ (6.61); 5. Brooke Stratton (Aus) 21-6¾ (6.57); 6. Lorraine Ugen (GB) 21-5¼ (6.53); 7. Christabel Nettey (Can) 21-4¾ (6.52); 8. Hanne Maudens (Bel) 20-10½ (6.36); 9. Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 20-9¼ (6.33).

SP(8/30 in town square): 1. Lijiao Gong (Chn) 65-¾ (19.83) (61-4¼, 63-7½, 64-2¼, 64-4, 65-¾, 64-2¼) (18.70, 19.39, 19.56, 19.61, 19.83, 19.56); 2. Raven Saunders (US) 64-5¼ (19.64) (f, 58-8, 64-5¼, f, f, f) (f, 17.88, 19.64, f, f, f); 3. Christina Schwanitz (Ger) 63-11¾ (19.50) (61-3½, 62-4½, 63-11¾, f, 61-11¾, 62-1¾) (18.68, 19.01, 19.50, f, 18.89, 18.94); 4. Aliona Dubitskaya (Blr) 62-4½ (19.01); 5. Paulina Guba (Pol) 60-10 (18.54); 6. Danniel Thomas-Dodd (Jam) 59-11¼ (18.27); 7. Melissa Boekelman (Hol) 58-8¾ (17.90); 8. Yulia Leantsiuk (Blr) 52-11 (16.13).

DT: 1. Yaimé Pérez (Cub) 213-3 (65.00) (207-11, 210-8, 207-1, 207-0, 207-1, 213-3) (63.38, 64.23, 63.12, 63.10, 63.12, 65.00); 2. Andressa de Morais (Bra) 212-1 (64.65); 3. Sandra Perković (Cro) 211-0 (64.31) (win streak ends at 15); 4. Claudine Vita (Ger) 201-2 (61.33); 5. Gia Lewis-Smallwood (US) 194-6 (59.28); 6. Whitney Ashley (US) 192-9 (58.75); 7. Nadine Müller (Ger) 191-1 (58.24); 8. Denia Caballero (Cub) 184-11 (56.37). □